Vanessa and I celebrated Gerald's impending admission to NYU (read: free accomodation!) at shophouse steakhouse Les Bouchons on Ann Siang Road. I was told by Gerald himself that early reservations were crucial and I didn't quite understand the urgency until I stepped into the shoebox bistro.
There is something endearing about French bistros, no? Vintage posters. Dim lighting. Single-sided menu. Somewhere closet Francophiles can come together with their glow sticks and sway along to Kumbaya.
Les Bouchons is unpretentious alright. So unpretentious I wish they had been a little more pretentious. Compared to Le Bistrot, service here is best exemplified by their cold hard rolls. Oh wait, that's pretty French huh?
Entrees featured your usual suspect (escargots, terraine etc) and we had the Burgundy escargots. Perpetually drowning in olive oil and garlic butter, the dark squishy nubbins were delicious. I wounded up with garlic breath but happily so. Not too sure how Van and Gerald felt about this though.
On Fridays and Saturdays, they have the Couscous Royal. I heart couscous. Though it was obviously Wednesday, I asked anyway if they had the cousous special, knowing very well that the answer would be, 'Er no.'
Sorry you didn't get the memo but the weekend has arrived for some of us!
Within a quick scan, I knew immediately what I was going for - the Rib Eye medium rare.
I gave my rib eye a deserving butter rub before digging in with the gusto of someone who had been waiting all day for the clock to strike 6 so that she could run out of the office to meet her friends for steak.
Tan lines are a no-no but chargrilled marks are dandy dandy. The steaks were served with frites / fries that I barely touched.
By the time I was done with my steak, my plate of fries had gone cold so I headed straight for the (refillable) basket of fries. Minutes later, the basket was empty and I found myself short of breath. Not funny.
If Rider's café and PS Café's fries were the ivory keys of the piano keyboard, Les Bouchons' stubby black keys completed the ensemble. Apparently Bouchons's fries are twice-cooked, I don't kniow if that's the reason why they look "aged" but they were utterly demolishable.
Oh, I almost forgot! We were also given 5 condiments, consisting of wholegrain mustard, horseradish, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and Maille's Bearnaise Sauce - one for every day of the week.
What am I suppose to use on the other 2 remaining days?
Hey if you are eating steak 5 days a week, you should be drinking wheatgrass juice over the weekend. That said, Maille's Bearnaise Sauce - I like, I smear!
As if to make us pause and think about what we were doing to our arteries, we were served bowls of salad, containing salad greens, tomatoes and walnuts, tossed and drizzled with a tangy mustardy dressing. It was pretty good so it couldn't have been that healthy.
The dessert menu was disapprovingly small (well, at least to me) and worse, unremarkable. Creme Brulee, Ile Flottante, sorbets, sherbets... Van and I trooped off to 7-11 for ice cream instead.
Les Bouchons is a hidden but not-so-secret gem. I like the steaks enough to return but the unfriendly business-first service and lack of dessert variety make this a steak-frites-only place. Wait, wasn't this what I was looking for to begin with?
7 Ann Siang Road
Tel: 6423 0737